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BARC has failed to address concerns of news genre, says Zee Media on its exit from ratings

The broadcaster lists landing pages, monopoly of BARC and 4-week rolling average among reasons behind its decision to pull out from BARC

Zee Media, the owner of 14 news channels including the national channels Zee News, Zee Hindustan and WION, has exited from BARC ratings over the rating agency’s ‘failure to address the issues regarding landing pages among others’.

In a press statement, Zee Media said, “Biggest concern and challenge is that BARC has not given any solution nor accepted as they are continuing reporting for landing pages and barker pages which impact ratings favourably for those who use these at the peril of others who do not subscribe to these unethical practices.”

Zee Media expressed its disappointment with the fact that BARC has not given any white paper on “TRP Scam” until now saying that it is a matter of great concern that “who all were involved in this malpractice and if are still part of the system (people/ channels) and what action has been taken against them.

Terming the decision to exit BARC ratings a milestone for the whole News media industry, the company said that there are more than 5-8 million people associated with the news and broadcasting industry at large who get impacted adversely if incorrect reporting is published by the rating agency.

Accusing BARC for cutting news genre down to size to benefit other genres, Zee Media said, “It has been observed in last few months that News genre is being shown shrunk by the BARC to extend the benefit to GEC and other genres at large.”

“News genre is continuously shown shrinking since BARC data was restarted. On the contrary, when the data was stopped, the news genre was at its peak. In spite of multiple meetings and conversation with BARC, the agency not only failed but has not been able to explain such a steep fall. Drastic change in viewership is hurting the news genre’s Revenue/ perception to the advertising fraternity. This is the biggest fall in the last 25-30 years of the industry which is unprecedented and far from reality,” the statement elaborated.

The broadcaster reiterated its demand to increase the number of Barometers. It said, “We have also repeatedly pointed out that a far larger sample (of meters) is needed if BARC is serious about ensuring a measurement process that cannot be rigged or manipulated, which also they failed to address.”

Claimed that Zee News is no.1 in comScore as well as in YouTube, Zee Media said that BARC ratings show a complete opposite and different picture while same content is placed on both the platforms.

The boradcaster said that the variance in digital and linear TV numbers points out to inconsistencies in reporting methodology.

Zee Media also questioned BARC’s new process of data reporting on the basis of 4-week rolling average vis-a-vis earlier daily/weekly. “Due to this the research has no meaning or outcome to the content producers and they cannot plan or validate content performance,” it said.

BARC is unable to answer or addresses any of our queries/ questions/ suggestions.

Zee Media also raised concerns about the monopoly of BARC on the lines of the views shared by the Telecom Regulatory Authority and I&B Ministry’s TRP Committee.

“We believe that due to the monopoly of rating agency, the industry is suffering at large,” Zee Media concluded.


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